Infrastructure Victoria, a statutory agency in the Australian, convened a community panel of randomly selected Victorians to consider the conditions under which they would accept changes in the way they pay for public transport and road maintenance.
Problems and Purpose
Infrastructure Victoria convened a community panel establish if, and how, the community would be willing to accept changes to the amount and way in which Victorians pay for public transport and roads. The panel forms part of their research program into network pricing, which suggests that users paying different amount based on different conditions could be more efficient than the current system .
Background History and Context
Infrastructure Victoria is a statutory authority set up by the Victorian state government in Australia. In 2016 they convened two citizens’ juries in Victoria to contribute towards a 30 year plan for the state’s infrastructure needs. Following on from that plan, the agency developed a research program for planning transport pricing changes which includes the current community panel.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The community panel was convened by Infrastructure and the deliberative process designed and facilitated by Mosaiclab. Participants were recruited independently by Deliberately Engaging .
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Participants were recruited from Melbourne, Geelong and Bendigo, with the latter two locations selected to ensure that people from regional Victoria were represented as well as metropolitan Melbourne. Email invitations were sent out to potential participants and the group was selected to attain a balance of gender, age, location, occupation, and transport mode .
Methods and Tools Used
A community panel is comparable to a citizens’ jury. In their response report, Infrastructure Victoria list the following principles for a community panel:
- “A broad, random sample of people affected by the decision are selected to participate.
- Participants are provided with detailed, in-depth information from a range of independent experts and sources that helps them to understand the issues and options associated with the decision.
- Participants are given the time and support they need to consider and discuss information and ideas, weigh up issues and options and agree on recommendations.
- Participants write their own report and their report is presented directly to decision makers. The recommendations in their report have an influence over outcomes or decisions.
- The group usually meets over several days, and their discussions are supported by professional facilitators.” 
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
The panel met for two full days of face-to-face deliberation over a period of four weeks, and heard presentations from expert speakers on the topic under consideration, as well as discussing online.
In addition to the two panel sessions, the group met first for a meet and greet session during the evening. They then attended two webinars where speakers from Infrastructure Victoria presented the panel with background information and a case study about a potential model for network pricing changes. Both webinars included Q&A sessions.
At the first full panel session, the group discussed the webinar content and heard from further speakers selected by Infrastructure Victoria. They also defined the values on which they would base any recommendations, and began to draft initial conditions.
At the second panel session, the panel worked on writing up their conditions and their report to present to Infrastructure Victoria. Decisions were made through super-majoritarian voting of 80% + threshold, although a number of recommendations that did not pass this threshold were submitted as minority reports .
The panel presented their final report outlining eight conditions under which people would accept changes to network pricing on 2 March 2019.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Infrastructure Victoria provided an initial response to the panel’s recommendations in May 2019, where they state that they are considering the implications, with another report on network pricing due at the end of 2019.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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Infrastructure Victoria Engagement Process
 Infrastructure Victoria (2019). Transport Network Pricing. Available at: http://www.infrastructurevictoria.com.au/project/research-transport-network-pricing/
 Infrastructure Victoria (2019). Infrastructure Victoria’s response to the transport network pricing community panel [pdf]. Available at: http://www.infrastructurevictoria.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Final-Infrastructure-Victoria%E2%80%99s-response-to-the-transport-network-pricing-community-panel-2.pdf
 Ibid, p. 4
 Ibid, p. 5
 Ibid, p. 6